Interior of Buddhist Vihara, Cave XII, Ajanta
Photographer: Gill, Robert
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of cave XII, Ajanta taken by Robert Gill c.1868-70. Ajanta is situated in the modern state of Maharashtra. At Ajanta, there are nearly thirty rock-cut caves set into a cliff in a bend in the Waghora river. The temples were found by accident by Captain John Smith on a hunting trip but were not documented properly until the middle of the nineteenth century. The construction of the caves can be divided into two distinct periods, the first dating to the 1st to 2nd centuries BC whilst the second was around 500 years later. Cave XII is a monastery excavated in the 2nd Century BC and one of the earliest at Ajanta. The facade has collapsed and shows the square interior hall which has no columns. There are cells on three sides with doors decorated with arch motifs.